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Get to the Point!

Put Some Color Into Your Vocabulary

By Theda C. Snyder

A forest drive can be a colorful, quarantine-approved way to enjoy the reds, golds and oranges of autumn. It could also get you thinking about making your communications more colorful.

What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong sang a song appreciating the green of trees, red roses, blue skies and white clouds. Color references vitalize your message.

Get to the Point by Teddy Snyder Graphic

More legal writing tips from Teddy Snyder

Red conveys anger. In your motion for sanctions, you might reference the character Anger from the animated film “Inside Out.” The perennially angry comedian Lewis Black provided the voice of Anger, whose skin was red and hair was on fire.

“Like the character Anger in ‘Inside Out,’ opposing counsel Ira Incivility saw red when he couldn’t get his way in this discovery dispute.”

Maybe Ira was even caught red-handed trying to spoliate evidence. First used in Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” this red reference harkens back to red blood on a murderer’s hand.

Silver is a euphemism for old. The “silver-haired victim” is meant to refer to a senior citizen, not Lady Gaga. A silver-tongued speaker is an eloquent persuader. But this metallic reference can also conjure the image of scam artist.

On the Other Hand

When your opponents use hyperbolic language to overemphasize irrelevant stuff, don’t buy into using purple prose, but you surely can call out theirs. Even worse, do not use blue language, i.e., profanity, no matter how frequently you use such words outside of formal legal communication.

Colorful language enlivens the dullest brief. You will be tickled pink (delighted) with the result. Your opponent may turn green with envy.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

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Teddy Snyder Theda C. Snyder

Theda “Teddy” Snyder mediates civil disputes, workers’ compensation and insurance coverage cases, including COVID-19 related coverage disputes, in person or by video. Teddy has practiced in a variety of settings and frequently speaks and writes about settlements and the business of law. She was a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and is the author of four ABA books, including “Women Rainmakers’ Best Marketing Tips, 4th Edition” as well as “Personal Injury Case Evaluation” available on Based in Los Angeles, Teddy can be found at and on Twitter @SnyderMediation.

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